RFC failure troubleshooting - AMS Advanced Change Management User Guide

RFC failure troubleshooting

This section provides some suggestions for responding to various RFC issues.

For information specific to CloudFormation ingest issues, see CFN Ingest Guidelines and Troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting errors

Many AMS provisioning RFC failures can be investigated through the CloudFormation documentation. See Troubleshooting AWS CloudFormation: Troubleshooting Errors

Additional troubleshooting suggestions are provided in the following sections.

"Management" RFCs

AMS "Management" Category change types (CTs) allow you to request access to resources as well as manage existing resources. This section describes some common issues.

RFCs for access

  • Make sure the Username and FQDN you specified in the RFC are correct and exist in the domain. For help finding your FQDN, see Finding your FQDN.

  • Make sure the stack ID you specified for access is an EC2-related stack. Stacks such as ELB and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) are not candidates for access RFCs, instead, use your read only access role to get access these stacks resources. For help finding a stack ID, see Finding stack IDs

  • Make sure the stack ID you provided is correct and belongs to the relevant account.

For help with other access RFC failures, see Access management.

YouTube Video: How do I raise a Request for Change (RFC) properly to avoid rejections and failures?

Scheduling RFCs with review required (manual), CTs

Most change types are ExecutionMode=Automated, but some are ExecutionMode=Manual and that affects how you should schedule them to avoid RFC failure.

Scheduled RFCs with ExecutionMode=Manual, must be set to execute at least 24 hours in the future if you are using the AMS Console to create the RFC. This caveat does not apply to the AMS API/CLI, but it is still important to schedule Manual RFCs at least 8 hours ahead.

AMS aims to respond to a manual CT within four hours, and will correspond as soon as possible, but it could take much longer for the RFC to actually be executed.

Using RFCs with manual update CTs

AMS Operations reject Management | Other | Other RFCs for updates to stacks, when there is an Update change type for the type of stack that you want to update.

RFCs for delete stack

RFC delete stack failures: If you use the Management | Standard stacks | Stack | Delete CT, you will see the detailed events in the AWS CloudFormation Console for the stack with the AMS stack name. You can identify your stack by checking it against the name it has in the AMS Console. The AWS CloudFormation Console provides more details about failure causes.

Before deleting a stack, you should consider how the stack was created. If you created the stack using an AMS CT and did not add or edit the stack resources, then you can expect to delete it without issue. However, it is a good idea for you remove any manually-added resources from a stack before submitting a delete stack RFC against it. For example, if you create a stack using the full stack CT (HA Two Tier), it includes a security group - SG1. If you then use AMS to create another security group - SG2, and reference the new SG2 in the SG1 created as part of the full stack, and then use the delete stack CT to delete the stack, the SG1 will not delete as it is referenced by SG2.


Deleting stacks can have unwanted and unanticipated consequences. AMS prefers to *not* delete stacks or stack resources on behalf of customers for this reason. Note, that AMS will only delete resources on your behalf (through a submitted Mangement | Other | Other | Update change type) that are not possible to delete using the appropriate, automated, change type to delete. Additional considerations:

  • If the resources are enabled for 'delete protection', AMS can help to unblock this if you submit a Management | Other | Other | Update change type and, after the deletion protection is removed, you can use the automated CT to delete that resource.

  • If there are multiple resources in a stack, and you want to delete only a subset of the stack resources, use the CloudFormation Update change type (see CloudFormation Ingest Stack: Updating). You can also submit a Management | Other | Other | Update change type and AMS engineers can help you craft the changeset, if needed.

  • If there are issues using the CloudFormation Update CT due to drifts, AMS can help if you submit a Management | Other | Other | Update to resolve the drift (as far as supported by the AWS CloudFormation Service) and provide a ChangeSet that you can then validate and execute using the automated CT, Management/Custom Stack/Stack From CloudFormation Template/Approve Changeset and Update.

AMS maintains the above restrictions to help ensure there are no unexpected or unanticipated resource deletions.

For more information, see Troubleshooting AWS CloudFormation: delete stack fails.

RFCs for update DNS

Multiple RFCs to update a DNS hosted zone can fail, some without reason. Creating multiple RFCs at the same time to update DNS hosted zones (private or public) can cause some RFCs to fail because they are trying to update the same stack at the same time. AMS change management rejects or fails RFCs that are not able to update a stack because the stack is already being updated by another RFC. AMS recommends that you create one RFC at a time and wait for the RFC to succeed before raising a new one for the same stack.

RFCs for IAM entities

AMS provisions a number of default IAM roles and profiles into AMS accounts that are designed to meet your needs. However, you may need to request additional IAM resources occasionally.

The process for submitting RFCs requesting custom IAM resources follows the standard workflow for manual RFCs, but the approval process also includes a security review to ensure appropriate security controls are in place. Therefore, the process typically takes longer than other manual RFCs. To reduce the cycle time on these RFCs, please follow the following guidelines.

For information on what we mean by an IAM review and how it maps to our Technical Standards and Risk Acceptance process, see RFC security reviews.

Common IAM resources requests:

  • If you are asking for a policy pertaining to a major cloud-compatible application, such as CloudEndure, see the AMS pre-approved IAM CloudEndure policy: Unpack the WIGs Cloud Endure Landing Zone Example file and open the customer_cloud_endure_policy.json


    If you want a more permissive policy, discuss your needs with your CloudArchitect/CSDM and obtain, if needed, an AMS Security Review and Signoff before submitting an RFC implementing the policy.

  • If you want to modify a resource deployed by AMS in your account by default, we recommend that you ask for a modified copy of that resource instead of changes to the existing one.

  • If you are requesting permissions for a human user (instead of attaching the permissions to the user) attach the permissions to a role, and then grant the user permission to assume that role. For details on doing this, see Temporary AMS Advanced console access.

  • If you require exceptional permissions for a temporary migration or workflow, provide an end date for those permissions in your request.

  • If you’ve already discussed the subject of your request with your security team, provide evidence of their approval to your CSDM with as much detail as possible.

If AMS rejects an IAM RFC we provide a clear reason for the rejection. For example, we might reject an IAM policy create request and explain what about the policy is inappropriate. In that case, you can make the identified changes and resubmit the request. If additional clarity on the status of a request is required, submit a service request, or contact your CSDM.

The following list describes the typical risks that AMS tries to mitigate as we review your IAM RFCs. If your IAM RFC has any of these risks, it may result in the rejection of the RFC. In cases where you require an exception, AMS asks for approvals from your security team. To seek such an exception, coordinate with your CSDM.


AMS may, for any reason, decline any change to IAM resources inside of an account. For concerns regarding any RFC rejection, reach out to AMS Operations via a service request, or contact your CSDM.

  • Privilege escalation, such as permissions that allow you to modify your own permissions, or to modify the permissions of other resources inside the account. Examples:

    • The use of iam:PassRole with another, more privileged role.

    • Permission to attach/detach IAM policies from a role or user.

    • The modification of IAM policies in the account.

    • The ability to make API calls in the context of management infrastructure.

  • Permissions to modify resources or applications that are required to provide AMS services to you. Examples:

    • Modification of AMS infrastructure like the bastions, management host, or EPS infrastructure.

    • Deletion of log management AWS Lambda functions, or log streams.

    • The deletion or modification of the default CloudTrail monitoring application.

    • The modification of the Directory Services Active Directory (AD).

    • Disabling CloudWatch (CW) alarms.

    • The modification of the principals, policies, and namespaces deployed in the account as a part of the landing zone.

  • Deployment of infrastructure outside of best practices, such as permissions that allow the creation of infrastructure in a state that endangers your information security. Examples:

    • The creation of public, or unencrypted, S3 buckets or public sharing of EBS volumes.

    • The provisioning of public IP addresses.

    • The modification of security groups to allow broad access.

  • Overly broad permissions capable of causing application impact, such as permissions that can result in data loss, integrity loss, inappropriate configuration, or interruptions of service for your infrastructure and the applications inside the account. Examples:

    • Disabling, or redirecting, network traffic through APIs like ModifyNetworkInterfaceAttribute or UpdateRouteTable.

    • The disabling of managed infrastructure by detaching volumes from managed hosts.

  • Permissions for services not a part of the AMS service description and not supported by AMS.

    Services not listed in the AMS Service description cannot be used in AMS accounts. To request support for a feature or service, please reach out to your CSDM.

  • Permissions that do not meet your stated goal as they are either too generous, or too conservative, or are applied to the wrong resources. Examples:

    • A request for s3:PutObject permissions to an S3 bucket that has mandatory KMS encryption, without KMS:Encrypt permissions to the relevant key.

    • Permissions that pertain to resources that don’t exist in the account.

    • IAM RFCs where the description of the RFC does not seem to match the request.

Deployment RFCs

AMS "Deployment" Category change types (CTs) allow you to request various AMS-supported resources be added to your account.

Most AMS CTs that create a resource are based on AWS CloudFormation templates. As a customer you have read-only access to all AWS services including AWS CloudFormation, you can quickly identify the AWS CloudFormation stack that represents your stack based on the stack description using the AWS CloudFormation Console. The failed stack will likely be in a state of DELETE_COMPLETE. Once you have identified the AWS CloudFormation stack, the events will show you the specific resource that failed to create, and why.

Using CloudFormation documentation to troubleshoot

Most AMS provisioning RFCs use a CloudFormation template and that documentation can be helpful for troubleshooting. See documentation for that AWS CloudFormation template:

RFCs for creating an AMI

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a template that contains a software configuration (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications). From an AMI, you launch an instance, which is a copy of the AMI running as a virtual server in the cloud. AMIs are very useful, and required to create EC2 instances or Auto Scaling groups; however, you must observe some requirements:

  • The instance you specify for Ec2InstanceId must be in a stopped state for the RFC to succeed. Do not use Auto Scaling group (ASG) instances for this parameter because the ASG will terminate a stopped instance.

  • To create an AMS Amazon Machine Image (AMI), you must start with an AMS instance. Before you can use the instance to create the AMI, you must prepare it by ensuring that it is stopped and dis-joined from its domain. For details, see Create a Standard Amazon Machine Image Using Sysprep

  • The name you specify for the new AMI must be unique within the account or the RFC fails. How to do this is described in Create an AMI, and for more details, see and AWS AMI Design.


For additional information for prepping for AMI creation, see Create an AMI.

RFCs for Creating an EC2 instance or auto scaling group

For EC2 or ASG failures with timeouts, AMS recommends that you confirm if the AMI used is customized. If it is, please refer to the AMI creation steps included in this guide (see Create an AMI) to ensure that the AMI was created correctly. A common mistake when creating a custom AMI is not following the steps in the guide to rename or invoke Sysprep.

RFCs for Creating an RDS stack

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) failures can occur for many different reasons because you can use many different engines when you create the RDS, and each engine has its own requirements and limitations. Before attempting to create an AMS RDS stack, carefully review AWS RDS parameter values, see CreateDBInstance.

To learn more about Amazon RDS in general, including size recommendations, see Amazon Relational Database Service Documentation.

RFCs for Creating an Amazon S3 stack

One common error when creating an S3 storage bucket is not using a unique name for the bucket. If you submitted an S3 bucket Create CT with the same name as one previously submitted, it would fail because an S3 bucket would already exist with that BucketName. This would be detailed in the AWS CloudFormation Console, where you will see that the stack event shows that the bucket name is already in use.

Validation versus execution errors

RFC failures and related messages differ in the output messages on the AMS console RFC details page for a selected RFC:

  • Validation Failures reasons are available in Status Field only

  • Execution Failures reasons are available in Execution Output as well as Status Fields.

RFC error messages

When you come across the following error for the listed change types (CTs), you can use these solutions to help you find the source of the problems and fix them.

{"errorMessage":"An error has occurred during RFC execution. We are investigating the issue.","errorType":"InternalError"}

Workload ingestion (WIGS) failure


Validation tools for both Windows and Linux can be downloaded and run directly on your on-premises servers, as well as EC2 instances in AWS. These can be found in the AMS Helper Files on the main Documentation page. Additional information can be found in the README files in the zips.

  • Make sure EC2 instance exists in target AMS account. For example, if you have shared your AMI from a non-AMS account to an AMS account, you'll have to create an EC2 instance in your AMS account with the shared AMI before you can submit a Workload Ingest RFC.

  • Check to see if the security groups attached to the instance have egress traffic allowed. The SSM Agent needs to be able to connect to its public endpoint.

  • Check to see if the instance has the right permissions to connect with the SSM agent. These permissions come with the customer-mc-ec2-instance-profile, you can check for this in the EC2 console:

EC2 instance stack stop fail

  • Check to see if the instance is already in a stopped or terminated state.

  • If the EC2 instance is online, and you are get the InternalError error, submit a service request for AMS to investigate.

  • Note that the EC2 instance stack Stop CT cannot be used to stop an AutoScaling group (ASG) instance. If you need to stop an ASG instance, submit a service request.

EC2 instance stack create fail

The InternalError message is from CloudFormation; a CREATION_FAILED status reason. You can find details on the stack failure in CloudWatch stack events by following these steps:

  • In the AWS Management console, you can view a list of stack events while your stack is being created, updated, or deleted. From this list, find the failure event and then view the status reason for that event.

    The status reason might contain an error message from AWS CloudFormation or from a particular service that can help you understand the problem.

  • For more information about viewing stack events, see Viewing AWS CloudFormation Stack Data and Resources on the AWS Management Console.

EC2 instance volume restore fail

AMS creates an internal troubleshooting RFC when EC2 instance volume restore fails. This is done because EC2 instance volume restore is an important part of disaster recovery (DR) and AMS creates this internal troubleshooting RFC for you automatically.

When the internal troubleshooting RFC is created, a banner is displayed providing you with links to the RFC. This internal troubleshooting RFC provides your with more visibility into RFC failures and, rather than submitting retry RFCs leading to the same errors, or making you manually reach out to AMS for this failure, you can keep track of your changes and know that the failure is being worked on by AMS. This also reduces the time-to-recovery (TTR) metric for their change as AMS Operators proactively work on the RFC failure instead of waiting for your request.

How to get help with an RFC

You can reach out to AMS to identify the root cause of your failure. AMS business hours are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

AMS provides several avenues for you to ask for help or make service requests.

  • To ask for information or advice, or for access to an AMS-managed IT service, or to request an additional service from AMS, use the AMS console and submit a service request. For details, see Creating a Service Request. For general information about AMS service requests, see Service Request Management.

  • To report an AWS or AMS service performance issue that impacts your managed environment, use the AMS console and submit an incident report. For details, see Reporting an Incident. For general information about AMS incident management, see Incident response.

  • For specific questions about how you or your resources or applications are working with AMS, or to escalate an incident, email one or more of the following:

    1. First, if you are unsatisfied with the service request or incident report response, email your CSDM: ams-csdm@amazon.com

    2. Next, if escalation is required, you can email the AMS Operations Manager (but your CSDM will probably do this): ams-opsmanager@amazon.com

    3. Further escalation would be to the AMS Director: ams-director@amazon.com

    4. Finally, you are always able to reach the AMS VP: ams-vp@amazon.com